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Two different Basin Reserve classics

Dec 17 (Island) The Basin Reserve where the current Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is in progress remains a special place for Sri Lankans in many ways. Generally the Sri Lankans have done well at this picturesque venue. The Basin as they call it is literally one of Wellington’s busiest roundabouts. It is the two mountains – Mount Cook and Mount Victoria in the backdrop that add to the beauty of this ground in New Zealand’s north island. more..

Namal congratulates Ranil

Dec 17 (Island) SLPP MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday congratulated UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on his appointment as PM. Rajapaksa said via Twitter that he hoped that Wickremesinghe ensure his government would make a course correction and safeguard the country’s sovereignty. UNP MP Navin Dissanayake told media that the party must immediately start preparing for future elections. "Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed the PM more..

Hayleys Energy Services commences Sri Lanka’s first oil and gas drillship lay-up

Dec 17 (DN) Hayleys Energy Services (HES), the pioneer in Oil and Gas support services in Sri Lanka, announced the arrival of the oil and gas drillship Aban Abraham for a warm lay-up to the Hambantota International Port. Aban Offshore Limited, the company that own the vessel, is India’s largest offshore drilling services provider to oil companies, providing drilling operations, production and exploratory work worldwide. more..

Marionettes and iron-men and the cricket soup is churning

Dec 17 (ST) What’s so common between the SL President’s decisions, which have effected so many ingenious changes in our day-to-day life — or to be precise, governance — and the cricket board elections? I do not think you need the three wise-men or any other sages to premise every common man with a wee-bit of commonsense would know that both are in total disarray. Yet, let the bigwigs of the govt, parliament and the judiciary solve controversies over matter governance and more..

Niroshan: First shuttler to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympics

Dec 17 (CT) Born on 10 Feb 1964, Niroshan goes into history as the first badminton player to represent Sri Lanka in the Olympics. Badminton was included as a sport in 1992, and with his remarkable performances in the Asian and Commonwealth Games, Niroshan represented the island nation in the same year. As a proud son of St. Thomas’ College, Bandarawela, Ananda College and Royal College, Colombo, this gentleman was able to win 28 titles in total: 9 singles, 12 doubles and more..

Public procurement committees reconstituted to streamline tender process

Dec 17 (ST) The new govt installed by the President is grappling with a number of key issues from the economy to financial allocations for ministries and state institutions. It is unable to formulate and carry out public services, procurement process as well as development projects following an interim injunction issued by the Appeal Court on the new administration. With no sign of ending the political impasse in sight, more..

BOC wins Gold in state bank category at CA Sri Lanka annual report awards

Dec 17 (Island) 54th Annual Report Awards Ceremony organized by Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka once again recognized Bank of Ceylon as the Gold Award winner in the State Bank Category for its 2017 Annual Report ABC of BOC. Moreover, it is the second time for this year that the 2017 ABC of BOC Annual Report has been accorded recognition. Initially in September this year, MERCOMM INC. USA too recognized it with three Gold Awards at its 32nd annual celebration of the World’s best more..

New office, auditorium complex aided by China handed over to SL Military Academy

Dec 17 (FT) A China-aided office and auditorium complex were handed over to the SL Military Academy in Diyatalawa on Saturday. The handing over ceremony was inaugurated by President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan in the presence of Commander of SL Army Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake, a Chinese military delegation led by Major General Shen Jun, as well as other senior army officers from both Sri Lanka and China. more..

'We need someone like Malinga to lead the pack'

Dec 17 (ST) Since Angelo Mathews resigned from his captaincy in June last year, SL had a multitude of captains doing the job. But none of them including Mathews who returned as captain on Chandika Hathurusingha’s request in January could change the fortunes of the limited over side. However, the new cricket selectors hope the appointment of Lasith Malinga as ODI skipper could turn things around for struggling team. more..

Asia Rugby U-19 Championship: Hong Kong thrash Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (Island) Sri Lanka were thrashed by the more dominant Hong Kong outfit by 48-15 in their Asia Rugby U19 Championship 2018 match played in Chinese Taipei yesterday. It was one-way traffic as Hong Kong put out a bulldozing performance scoring seven tries, while Sri Lanka also known as the Junior Tuskers scored only two tries. The much-bigger forwards of Hong Kong, scored their first try within the first four minutes of the match. SL however, found themselves inside more..

Cyclonic storm moves away from Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (DN) The cyclonic storm Phethai over the southwest Bay of Bengal was located approximately 460 km northeast of Trincomalee at 08.30am yesterday. The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, while moving away from the island. The influence of this system is expected to gradually decrease from tomorrow. Mainly fair weather can be expected over the island and fairly cold weather more..

Cabinet to be limited to 30

Dec 17 (FT) Representing the majority view of the UNP, Eran Wickramaratne said that the party membership wants the Cabinet to be limited to 30 members only, including crossovers. Speaking at a press briefing immediately after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the crowd, Wickremeratne said that although discussions for crossovers are ongoing, the majority view of the party is to limit the Cabinet to 30 members, more..

Plantation firm wins, for the first time, top chamber award

Dec 17 (ST) Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC won the prestigious Gold Award of the National Business Excellence Awards 2018 conducted for 15th time by the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) at the Awards Ceremony held last week. It is the first time in the history of the National Business Excellence Awards, that an agricultural enterprise, more so a plantation company has won this prestigious award. Roshan Rajadurai, Managing Director, Hayleys Plantations, speaking on behalf of the winner, more..

JVP prefers Welgama to MR as Opposition Leader

Dec 17 (Island) JVP says that Mahinda Rajapaksa has no moral right to accept the Opposition Leader post in parliament. JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said that Mahinda Rajapaksa had not voted against the past three budgets of the UNF govt and had not signed the no-confidence motion against UNF PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in April. "MP Rajapaksa was not present in the House to lead his party men whenever there was a crucial vote against the UNF govt. Instead, during the past three years, more..

DEW warns of continuing instability

Dec 17 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera warned of continuation of political instability for want of a stable parliament. Welcoming Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to quit the premiership on Dec 15 in the wake of what the veteran politician called unfavourable Appeal Court ruling in respect of Quo Warranto petition filed by 122 lawmakers, Gunasekera said that political stability could more..

UPFA won’t joint UNP-led govt: Amaraweera

Dec 17 (Island) The UPFA will not join the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration, a senior UPFA MP said. UPFA General Secretary, Mahinda Amaraweera said that the party had taken that decision on Saturday. Amaraweera said: "However, it is up to the President as the head of the UPFA to decide but our current stance is that we won’t join the Wickremesinghe administration. We will meet again today to discuss what to do given the political climate under the President’s leadership." more..

Bar Council head to write to President urging him to appoint judges to SC and CA

Dec 17 (ST) Bar Council of the Bar Association of SL (BASL) has resolved that the President of BASL should urgently write to Prez Sirisena urging him to immediately swear in judges whose names were approved to fill the vacancies at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The decision was taken after the matter was taken up by Upul Jayasuriya, PC when the Bar Council met. He pointed out that the Constitutional Council had approved the names of two Appeal Court judges to be appointed more..

JVP vows not to allow Ranil to form another national govt

Dec 17 (Island) JVP says it will not let Ranil Wickremesinghe to form a national govt by making use of the loopholes existing in the 19th Amendment. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that newly appointed PM Wickremesinghe was planning to form a national govt with 21 SLFP MPs breaking ranks with their UPFA colleagues. "In order to accommodate those 21 MPs govt would have to offer ministerial more..

Saman Ekanayake appointed Secretary to PM

Dec 17 (AD) Saman Ekanayake, a senior Special Grade officer of the SL Administrative Service, has been appointed as the Secretary to the PM. The appointment has been made by President Maithripala Sirisena, effective immediately. Ekanayake had also served as Secretary to the PM from 2015. He has served in the PM’s Office, Dept of Govt Information, Ministries of Housing, External Affairs, Finance, Youth Affairs and Industries, SL High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and more..

Rs 384 M Heroin Bust in Ratmalana

Dec 17 (CT) A 23-year-old Bangladeshi woman was arrested along with 32 kg of heroin, with a street value of Rs. 384 million, at a safe house in Ratmalana yesterday evening, a senior Policeman said. He said the suspect woman was initially picked up from a location in neighbouring Dehiwala by undercover sleuths from the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) who had operated on a tip-off. At the time of her arrest in Dehiwala, the suspect was in a possession of one kilogram of heroin and more..

Sirisena lashes out at UNP after reappointing PM

Dec 17 (FT) Soon after restoring Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM, Prez Sirisena yesterday launched a fresh attack on the former and his party, exposing the continuing rift between the two. In a speech made at the closed door meeting with representatives of the UNF led by the UNP and later televised, the President said the reappointment of Wickremesinghe was against his personal political conscience and he still maintained the view more..

MR claims Yahapalanaya regime borrowed $ 20.7 b in loans

Dec 17 (FT) MP Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday claimed that the Yahapalanaya Govt since assuming office in 2015 had borrowed $ 20.7 billion in foreign currency loans. “We have no idea as to how much more they will borrow in the coming months. The UNP brought our economy to the brink of collapse through such foreign currency borrowings. All that money was borrowed for consumption. We borrowed money to develop the country and that development is visible. more..

Video: MPs who joined Mahinda won’t return to UNP: Basil

Dec 17 (AD) The UNP members who had joined with Mahinda Rajapaksa will not return to the UNP, says former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Addressing a public meeting, the former Minister said that he is making this comment as a respect to those members. Furthermore, the rumours which claim that certain members of SLFP would join the govt are unwarranted and that most of the MPs have already informed the President and Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard, he noted. more..

ජනාධිපති මෛත්රිපාල සිරිසේන විශේෂ ප්රකාශය

A President stopped in his tracks and a country in a quagmire

Dec 17 (DM) With the resignation of former President Rajapaksa from the post of PM on Saturday, and the re installation of Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM on Sunday, the Constitutional crisis which engulfed the country since October, appears to be at long last coming to an end. The crisis grew out of President Sirisena’s ill-advised sacking of incumbent PM Ranil Wickremasinghe in contravention to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which more..

Turbulent Politics

Dec 17 (DM) Over the last week, in Sri Lanka as in the UK, the US and India, there is much talk of major court rulings, confidence motions, elections, referendum and impeachment. Such intense politics has led to further escalation of political moves and manoeuvres by those in power, but what are the plans of the left and progressive forces? British journalist Gary Younge has written an interesting article in the progressive US magazine The Nation titled, Which Is Worse, Trump or Brexit? more..

Prisons chief explains blunder in the death-row prisoner list sent to President

Dec 17 (ST) Prisons Dept Commissioner General H.M.N.C. Dhanasinghe claimed the department was severely inconvenienced in tracking the records of prisoners on death row for narcotics offences, as the convicts are sent to prisons by Courts sans the relevant documentation. He was responding to an allegation made by Prez Sirisena that some of the names of prisoners forwarded to him by the dept more..

PM Wickremesinghe's reinstatement calms markets; cabinet in focus

Dec 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee strengthened on Monday while bond yields dropped as a seven-week political crisis appeared to ebb after President Maithripala Sirisena reinstated the premier he had initially sacked in a widely criticised move. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was sworn into office on Sunday, held discussions with Sirisena about forming a cabinet and restoring stability in the island nation of 21 million more..

'Sri Lanka full budget in January 2019, interim budget shortly'

Dec 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will prepare an interim budget to keep the govt ticking from January 2019, after a new cabinet of ministers is appointed, UNP legislators said. "We expect to appoint a cabinet of ministers within 48 hours," UNP legislator and former state minister for finance Eran Wickramaratne said. "We will talk with party leaders and go for a debate or one or two days and seek approval." more..

EU welcomes resolution of Sri Lanka’s political crisis

Dec 17 (EN) The European Union said it welcomes the resolution of Sri Lanka’s political crisis in accordance with the constitution after President Maithripala Sirisena reappointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister. The crisis was triggered when Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in October and subsequently dissolved parliament. more..

'We didn't bowl the right lengths consistently'

Dec 17 (CI) Though faced with a placid Basin Reserve track, SL's bowlers did not hit their lines and lengths consistently enough, as NZ amassed 578 and claimed total control of the first Test. SL bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake had expected better of his charges, who had shown signs of promise earlier this year in the West Indies, where they prospered with the big-swinging Dukes ball on pitches that gave bowlers a little more to work more..

SL industrial activity up 2.8% in October

Dec 17 (EN) Industrial activity in Sri Lanka grew 2.8% from a year earlier in Oct 2018 with growth across most major sectors. Index of Industrial Production compiled by the Census and Statistics Dept grew to 111 points in October from 108.6 points a year earlier. An index value over 100 shows a growth compared to the base year of 2015. Activity during October is usually one of the highest, ahead of the December holiday season. more..

Committee probing violence in Parliament inspects CCTV footage

Dec 17 (AD) The committee appointed to probe the violent incidents that had taken place during the recent parliamentary sessions, is currently scrutinizing the CCTV footages of the Chamber, stated the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ananda Kumarasiri. He said that the members of the committee have been paired up to inspect the CCTV footages separately. Accordingly, two members of the committee, more..

Probe into SriLankan-Mihin irregularities: Ex-CBSL head to appear before PCoI

Dec 17 (Island) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka has asked former Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to give a statement to the CID unit attached to the commission. Cabraal is expected to be questioned on the issuance of Treasury Bonds worth USD. 520 million between 2012 and 2014. more..

SL collapse against pace after Latham's 264*

Dec 17 (CI) In six Tests at the Basin Reserve, SL have been at the receiving end of four double-hundreds. Martin Crowe, Lou Vincent and Kane Williamson had done it before, and on Monday it was Tom Latham's turn. Having gone past 200 for the first time in his Test career, he went on to finish on an unbeaten 264, becoming the first NZ batsman since Glenn Turner in 1972 to carry his bat through a completed Test innings. more..

Media under tight scrutiny: MR

Dec 17 (DM) Resigned PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Ministers of the new regime had individually undertaken to monitor the affairs of each and every media institution in a bid to suppress media but the media had a responsibility to act without allowing the country being divided. He said: “Each Minister is appointed to each newspaper for media control according to the information published recently. more..

Born again UNF

Dec 17 (CT) The political calamity which had shaken the Parliamentary system and made the whole country to remain in a clueless state for more than a month has now come to an end with the Supreme Court putting everything in order. It is for the first time in the political history of the Island such a big mess had occurred between the Executive Presidency and Parliament. However, the Judiciary played its part beautifully to restore the Parliamentary system as well as living up to more..

Ignored export sector for creating prosperity

Dec 17 (FT) In the previous part, we noted that Professor H.A. de S. Gunasekara, the first Ceylonese Professor of Economics at the University of Ceylon, was a legend in economics teaching in Sri Lanka. His doctoral thesis to the Uni of London, From Dependent Currency to Central Banking in Ceylon, was a seminal contribution on the development of banking, finance and central banking in colonial Ceylon. Five-Year Plan of 1972-76 that was produced under his direction more..

D.E.W. Gunasekera

Katubedda Claymore bomb blast case: Trial postponed for February 6

Dec 17 (DN) Panadura Provincial High Court Judge Damith Totawatte concluded the voir dire inquiry held in open court on December 14 on the confession made to ASP Panamaldeniya by the second accused indicted in the Katubedda Claymore bomb explosion case pronounced the order and stated that the Court accepted the alleged confession of the second accused. Therefore, the court decided to continue with the trial refusing the objections of the Defence Counsel. more..